In my post questioning if MormonISM is Christian I’ve been accused of being exclusionary for the purpose of leaving Mormons out of the club. I hope to explain why asking the question “Who is Christian?” or “What Churches are Christian?” is important to non-LDS Christians, Protestants in particular.
When I (and other Protestants) ask “is that church Christian?” we are really asking “Can I worship Jesus there?” We want to know if we can take communion and be in communion in that congregation. We want to know if their baptism is valid. We are seeking to understand what the most basic requirements are for Christianity so that we can JOIN together in worship. In answering “can I worship there?” we are including a group that numbers over 1.5 billion people. We are saying that the one true church includes all Protestants, Orthodox and Catholics.
Mormons are hurt by the snub, but it is the LDS church that is truly exclusionary. When the LDS church defines “the one true church” it leaves everyone else out. It says that all baptisms are invalid outside of the LDS church. It says that taking the sacrament is invalid everywhere outside the LDS church. It says that there is no priesthood authority outside the LDS church. In effect, the LDS church’s position that it is the one and only true church is saying that there is no true Christian worship outside of Mormonism.
The LDS church teaches that Mormons can not worship in spirit and in truth anywhere but within the LDS church. I, on the other hand, am saying that Christians can worship in spirit and truth in thousands of different churches.
My exclusivity leaves out the practice of 12 million Mormons. Mormon exclusivity leaves out the practice of 1.5 billion non-LDS Christians. Mormons like to say “you have truth, we have more” but that is not what the assertion of being the one true church means. It means that all other churches are false.